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Summer is finally here. Going through so many miserable months made us feel like it will never come. But it is here now and we all should enjoy it.
The temperatures have risen to good levels and we feel like digging in our wardrobes to find that swim trunk or sexy
But there’s one little problem…We are in London! That big concrete city with beautiful parks but without any beach or sand. Doh! So should we give up on the dream of wearing our swimwear after waiting so long for this elusive occasion?
London might not be located close to the sea but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any beach.
In recent years, it has seen a new trend appearing and that’s what we like to call the London-on-Sea trend. Different beaches have popped around the capital to our delight.
Of course, always in the search of ways to have fun, we decided to do some “serious hard work” (yes sipping cocktails in swimwear is hard!:-)) and went to investigate what this new craze is all about.
Nowadays, we cannot mention anything trendy without mentioning East London. This is no different for urban beaches. Not only do a lot of things happen in East London but they also happen BIG!
BeachEast is now the biggest urban beach in the UK. And, apparently, BeachEast 2016 will be even bigger than last year. There will be more attractions and events.
Just to give you an idea… there will be:
- not one but two beaches
- an Olympic size paddling pool
- a pub and a bar: in case you worry you won’t be hammered enough
- some food outlets: that will cater for all tastes
- a fun fair
- and of course, some sports and activities… you will be at the Olympic Park, a place for champions so you’ll get a chance to burn those calories!
When: from Saturday 23 July till Sunday 4 September 2016
Where: at the Olympic Park in Stratford
Entry fee: FREE
Brent Cross Beach
We are not going to say much about Brent Cross Beach.
We will let their video do the talk….
When: from Friday 1 July till Sunday 4 September 2016
Where: in Brent Cross
Entry fee: £3 (cash only)
Note: Photography is not allowed there, unless permitted in writing
Camden Market Beach
The Camden Market beach seems to be very successful. As we write, most of the tickets to access Camden Market Beach are almost gone and by the time our article will be out, we guess they will be…
The only tickets that are available are the ones for the Beach Huts. But… they cost £375!
However, here is what you will get for that price:
- guaranteed queue jump entry for up to 8 people
- private summer house with cushioned seating and exclusive outdoor space
- 2 bottles of prosecco, fridge of lager, 12 cider (or soft drinks)
- popcorn and rock
- food from the BBQ for 8
- app ordering and waiter service to your hut
- souvenir beach mat (1 per hut)
It’s not cheap but if you manage to be in a group of 8 and if you break it down per person, this will cost you about £47 each.
When: from Friday 29 July till Monday 29 August 2016
Where: Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Entry fee: call 0300 6789 222 to enquire
The Royal Docks Urban Beach
This urban beach is totally on the low key side. Nothing fancy or grand. Just a nice little bit of sand. It might not be big but it’s close to the Thames so you get to swim if you want to. The water seems to be clean there and some people have swum in it (and are still alive!) so why not give it a try?
There are also a few things great about this beach due to its location:
- Wakeup Docklands: which is a water sports centre where you can try wake boarding, paddle boarding and fly boarding.
- Boat: there is a small boat right next to the beach. Literally 10 metres away from the beach. They also serve nice drinks.
- Sunborn: a bit further away about 10 min walk (=closer to the Excel exhibition centre), you can go on a luxurious yacht called the Sunborn. It’s a yacht-hotel where you can eat and drink.
- Restaurants: being close to the Excel gives some benefits. You have different restaurants not far away.
- The Crystal: if you’re bored of not doing much at the beach, you could go to the Crystal (you might have to put on a bit more clothes though). The Crystal is a very interesting exhibition on the future of cities. The building itself is the world’s most sustainable events venue.
- The Cable Car: you can decide to go to Greenwich/the O2 using the cable car. We recently posted about how exciting it is to use the Cable Car – see our video here
The view from it is incredible.
When: from Monday 11 July 2016 (no end date indicated on their website)
Where: Royal Victoria Docks, London E16 1GB
Entry fee: FREE
This beach is also a low key one. You won’t be able to put a beach chair there. But there is one obvious benefit… its location. You are in Southbank so there are loads of things to do and to enjoy once you’re done sunbathing.
However, we have to admit that its location is slightly off putting. It’s hard to imagine that, unlike the other beaches in this article, you can truly feel like you’re at the beach when you are somewhere as busy as Southbank…
When: from Friday 6 June till Sunday 18 September 2016
Where: in Southbank
Entry fee: FREE
Website: Southbank Beach
Bishops Park Beach
There is an all year-round “beach” in Bishops Park. It is not a beach as such but there is some nice clean sand on one side of the park’s lake. You could bring a beach chair and relax if the sun is out. The park is beautiful so you will for sure spend a great time there. Also, know there are some interesting facilities at the park such as: tennis and basket-ball courts, playground, a skate bowl etc. You are guaranteed a great day out!
When: all year-round
Where: Fulham – London SW6 6EA
Entry fee: FREE
Hackney Wick on the Beach
This beach will be set up as part of a one day event where music, food, cocktails and art will meet. This beach will not be setup for several weeks. However, it can still be cool to go there if the weather’s nice. Besides, it will take place in Hackney Wick’s thriving creative community area. So there should definitely be a chilled & nice summer vibe in the air…
When: Sunday 24 July 2016 only
Where: 80 Eastway, Hackney Wick, London
Entry fee: FREE
If you are unlucky this year and cannot make it to a beach on the English coast or abroad, don’t despair! You can enjoy the beach while still in London.
The atmosphere at those beaches is fantastic and you will completely forget that you are in a big city. So, look for one close to where you live or visit the ones mentioned in this article. We hope you will get that perfect tan and that this will fully help you appreciate summer. That summer you were waiting for… for so long…
Viva la Playa! 🙂